Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Foursquare - not really sure what to do with it

A few people have asked about the Warwick Library Foursquare account in the last few days - Library + Foursquare discussions seemed to have gone a bit quiet recently in my corner of Libraryland but it now looks like there is a bit of renewed interest, possibly with induction time coming up in the academic libraries? 

We are on Foursquare primarily because our students are on Foursquare. Before we even knew they were there they were checking in and adding tips to our venue. Back in February I delivered an EMA Link presentation on student engagement and I took the screen shot above to show that, despite us not having any involvement with Foursquare, our students had already put us on the map (note: there had been 710 check ins by 126 people at that point, and the first tip was left in April 2010).
Because of this interest and because students were leaving comments (both good and bad) about our services which were going unchecked, we registered the venue (this process took a little while but was complete by the end of April this year).
Our account is managed by the Enquiries Support Team (my team) who also manage the Library Facebook and Twitter accounts, and it really doesn't take up much time at all. We just check it occasionally, update our tips to reflect any important information, such as changes in opening hours, or bank holiday closures, and watch it for comments left by students. This morning it looks like this:

(6 months on 1173 check ins by 176 people - bear in mind that 3 of those months were vacation time).

So what are we going to do with it now?  

Well - we don't really know. 

As of this academic year (2011/12) we will be actively advertising our presence to our students, something we have not done until now. We are starting to include Foursquare links on our web pages, most notably to our newly set up "Get Started" pages for new student orientation.

For next year we might involve geolocation apps in our orientation program, (possibly Foursquare, or perhaps it's slightly more exciting cousin SCVNGR) but this is a long way, and a lot of planning, away from where we are now.

Some other posts and info. on Libraries on Foursquare that I have found useful - in no particular order (these are fairly old now):

David Lee King: Foursquare and Libraries - anything there?
David Lee King: Foursquare and Libraries - definitely something there! 
Melissa L. Rethlefsen: Checking in: location services for libraries
David Viner: Libraries and location services: using Foursquare in public libraries
Phil Bradley: Foursquare - Meh

Is anyone else using Geolocation apps in their library? 

Anyone looking at using them as induction tools?

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